The literary uses of drinking

For the Telegraph, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst explains how “drink is soaked into the history of writing like a wine stain.” He cites many examples of literary drunkenness. My favourite:

“It wasn’t the wine,” concludes Mr Snodgrass in Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers, almost broken in two by a hangover, “it was the salmon.”

I know someone else who does exactly the same thing — he blames his hangovers on the food he’s eaten the night before, not on the alcohol he’s imbibed. I can’t reveal the identity of this person, though — not under any circumstances — as I feel it is of vital importance to protect the reputation of the father of my (as yet still imaginary) children.


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